John & Anne Wiley



We asked a loved one what he most enjoyed about living where he does, and he paused for a long moment. “The cost of living,” was his eventual reply. Great reason for choosing that spot!  We often think about how high the cost of housing is here in SB, and how that impacts our meager lifestyle. Yet we have not had even the slightest doubt about our choice, since moving here almost 20 years ago. Worth it, to us.

1000004 Sunset

1000004 Sunset

Case in point, on our evening walk under this sunset we picked some fruit to complement these locally grown organic heirloom tomatoes we got at the farmer’s market.

8951 Still Life

8951 Still Life

I didn’t take time to set up and light the shot, but it still reminds me of still life art I’ve enjoyed. One my Aunt painted in particular, that hung in our home during my childhood. It also reminds me of what we did today. Choosing to live in a modest home and drive a car old enough to vote so we can (barely) afford to buy Tripp enabled us to take a short flight along the coast and see these surfers enjoying the thing that probably factored large in their choice to live here.

8996 Warm Waves

8996 Warm Waves

Having lived in -40F winters, I appreciate the many things that move people to live elsewhere. I also appreciate, perhaps more keenly than most, the joy of living Here. 🙂



1 Comment

  1. Interesting Post. Our family moved from Minnesota because of the weather and the illnesses that the cold caused. And the summer heat was also unbearable. We landed in LA County and worked in the San Gabriel Valley , Smogsville USA, and took a transfer to Santa Barbara .We traveled all the way to Coos Bay checking out GT&E areas. People told us Santa Barbara was “too rich” for common people. Well we figured if this was a place that seniors came to, it must be healthy. So we came in 1966 to rear our kids in a healthy spot, and work to afford to live here.. Yes, it was more expensive in some ways, but in others the benefits made up for the cost. And we were also fortunate to be in an era of GI no or low down loans. We never regretted the move.

    Our children all graduated from San Marcos and enjoyed the Goleta Valley when is still had open fields and agriculture. I was happy to be a President of Goleta Beautiful and make way for the median beautifications and community help and fun. When it was still a hands on job. We moved a Depot, planted trees and pulled weeds, and had the first Arbor Day Celebration at the San Marcos Growers. That was in the days of community spirit without spending a fortune for a celebration or Banquet.

    I hosted many Goleta Beautiful Banquets when the cost was only $30 and it was a heart warming experience for all. Now it is very commercialized and , in my opinion, not as nice or warm. We had possibly a small band, and Nancy Jent would play soft music during the dinner. I would play a Song with a volunteer for the Grace. Usually, the Ave Maria or some other generic religious song. For the man and Woman of the year Awards, I personally played the piano for the background music. I had been Woman of the year the first time it was divided betweeen man and woman, and i felt this was my way of showing appreciation.

    We , the musicians, never charged for these service, although I always paid Nancy $50 for her time. But she would have done it for free, really.

    Well, now, I am mostly living in Baja, on a south beach similar to Santa Barbara. In some ways I miss the life in SB, but this is very quiet and suitable. I still have my SB home, but rented to friends, and I have the edhat for info. I have two boys still in SB. One owns Santa Barbara Concrete Cutting, which I helped establish 25 years ago, but he has done all the work. My other boy, born in SB, is either on the sea, or doing construction.

    I bought our first casa in San Miguel for the boys in 1984. My new husband and I have been here in our own home and have a ranchito also, since 2001. We are here, first because of illness, and then because we love it. And as your friend says, the “cost of living” although it is really not that much cheaper here any more, when you figure the bottom line.

    But Mexico is really safer than the media writes about. Like any place else, crime is where the criminals hang out. Not with normal people.

    Happy New Year, Marie Lamb Harden Mancilla

    Comment by Marie Mancilla — 2012/01/06 @ 06:49

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